The Vic-tar

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Project by Scott Oldre posted 08-05-2014 12:02 AM 2871 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks ago, I was motivated to step outside my comfort zone and create a custom guitar. At first it was just going to be a gag gift for our Vicar who is returning to his last year in Lutheran seminary. After that he’ll be called to serve a church somewhere else.

So as I said, it was initially just to be a gag gift because he is a very gifted guitar player who brought a whole new dynamic during his year stay in Irmo, SC. But like most other things, once I start “thinking”, it changes the whole big picture, and this guitar which I’ll call the “Vic-tar” took on a life of it’s own.

I’ve never created any sort of instrument before, but once I started, I knew the goal for me would be to make it actually play. And play it does. Not a huge booming guitar sound, but still very capable of being tuned to a standard guitar sound.

The only things I did not make from scratch, was the fret wire, the tuning pegs, the bridge pegs, and the strings. I had spanish cedar from my greene and greene table build, and was elated to find that this is a prized guitar neck wood so its got a true spanish cedar neck. The sound board and the bottom are also 1/8” spanish cedar. Sure is nice to have that drum sander around when things like this come up. The sides are mahogany, the fretboard is Redheart. The binding on the edges and the peg head at the top are curly maple. The bottom strap button is turned bocote, and the smaller one on the neck is ebony.

I did have to buy a micarta saddle blank and a bone nut blank, but I shaped those by hand as well.

I had a blast building it and now that I’ve got my feet week, itching to build a Taylor copy…can’t play, but I do love the art of guitars. Oh, the finish was 4 coats of BLO/MS/POLY mix, and topped with Polycrylic


-- Scott, Irmo SC

7 comments so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


11549 posts in 5137 days

#1 posted 08-05-2014 12:23 AM


Now you know how to do some of the tricky stuff.

You can build a Spanish style guitar, believe me. It’s
not that hard to do. If you do try a steel string,
use a bolt-on neck. The dovetail neck joints can
be really tricky and unnecessarily so considering bolt-on

When I say building guitars is not that hard, I mean
it doesn’t require elaborate skill. There are a lot of
discrete steps to learn but the worst case scenario
if you finish the guitar is it’s a bit ugly or with an
awkward neck.

View gbrown4's profile


116 posts in 4183 days

#2 posted 08-05-2014 01:01 AM

Wow and I thought my plaque was good for our vicar who is heading back to the seminary. You did a great job on your guitar. I did get the honor to make a bed pan banjo for Rev. Matt Harrison, president of the LCMS last year. Great Work!!

-- Greg, Concordia, Mo

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4921 days

#3 posted 08-05-2014 02:27 AM

Loren, I will definitely be using the bolt on neck for the next one. This was just a simple mortice and tenon with epoxy. It has light steel strings on it, and also no type of bracing, other than triangular maple interior strips for the top to side and bottom to side glueups. I’m hoping its such a small area that it won’t cause to big a stress on the top. Pretty sure it’ll rarely get played and it’ll hang on his wall wherever he lands in the future. I also checked out your 7 string and that’s my actually do some bending into a real guitar shape on the next one.

Greg, Thank you and love your bed pan banjo. That would have worked for our vicar too since he also plays a banjo, but I didn’t have any bed pans in the garage ;). The kid is absolutely gifted, especially when he preaches. Amazing. You’re LCMS, we’re WELS.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 5088 days

#4 posted 08-05-2014 09:50 AM

Nice looking instrument. Bet it sounds as it looks!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Kerry's profile


20 posts in 3811 days

#5 posted 08-05-2014 07:21 PM

ha, you’re hooked now… beware :-)


-- Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light...(Helen Keller)

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4824 days

#6 posted 08-06-2014 09:06 AM

Nicely done Scott. I’ll bet it won’t be long before you do a another with a classic shape. I would like to build a guitar sometime, but the materials are too expensive for me here.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4921 days

#7 posted 08-06-2014 08:01 PM

I’m already deep in thought about a true guitar Mike. I found a place with plans, and want to do something similar to a Taylor Grand Symphoney (GS). I still have enough of the Spanish cedar for a neck, and plenty of curly maple for sides and back, just need to find some spruce ;) Yeah, it won’t be long before my wife is once again, asking, (actually demanding), that I put the tools away so she can park her car in the garage again.

I learned a lot with this small quick build, and think I can just maybe make a real one play too.

Thanks for looking Mike. Always appreciate your critiques and encouragement.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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